After joining as a Faculty in School of International Studies at JNU, the very first thing I came to know and see around the campus was the consistent struggle and resistance by its student union led by combined left-wing radical forces against the JNU administration. I was struck with a thought that why everyday these student activists are indulged in a ‘protest politics’ making the academic environment and working quite a challenging task in the JNU campus.
Having been myself a long-term student activist and leader in my student days in Delhi University, I have always supported the active role of student politics for the welfare of young students and the larger academic fraternity as well. However, as I completed my one year in the JNU campus as a teacher and visiting around the campus meeting students and young researchers I realized that the nature and activism of left-led student union in JNU has been rather unproductive, questionable and obstructionist. In recent months they have raised an organized campaign, with the help of some of their like-minded faculty, to malign the image and dignity of the JNU and its Vice-Chancellor.
Given their training in ‘lookout activism’ and style of self-inventing irrelevant protest politics with the JNU administration they are unnecessarily and always at the loggerheads with the VC. Not just they interrupt the academic environment of the campus but also hamper the smooth functioning of administrative work in the JNU. Having known the Vice-Chancellor personally and after working with him in last one year in JNU, I strongly realize that through his consistent efforts and decisions he has been able to infuse a ‘new sense of discipline and work culture’ in the campus. Needless to say that his impressive academic credentials speak for himself but with the ongoing ‘malicious and organized campaign’ being run against him we need to speak up against the forces that want to turn this beautiful campus into an anarchy of some in the name of absolute freedom and rights protections. This cant be allowed to keep on going given the fact that JNU campus allows students from ‘social margins and rural background’ to come and acquire best of the public education and learning and not to be victim and sufferers of any kind of ‘futile student activism’ led by some in the name of representing larger JNU fraternity.
As they list out series of allegations against the current Vice-Chancellor we need to understand the very style and objective creating ‘campus disorder’ to their narrow benefit at the cost of bringing ‘bad name and criticism’ to the JNU community, its Vice Chancellor and their administration.
-To let you all know on the issue of JNU bearing the cost of airfare for the visit of Sri Sri Ravishanker to deliver Nehru Memorial Lecture 2018, it shall be noted that it was borne by ONGC, a leading and well-established public sector company, without any major exchequer cost of the JNU. He was the guest to mark the annual lecture on the campus; and the JNU administration was only responsible for the facilitation of logistics arrangement. Similarly, the event to mark the arrival of Sri Sadhguru and his interaction with the students in the campus was organized under the banner of Youth and Truth and the team of Isha Foundation. As a part of their schedule to visit many varsities across the country and interact with the students, JNU administration was only responsible for the venue and logistics.
The huge presence and enthusiasm among the students and faculty from the JNU for both these events leave no reason to believe that it was well-attended gathering and an interdisciplinary set of interaction based on the interface between reason and faith, spirituality and science.
On the issue of diversion or cutting of library funds, we need to maintain that all necessary facilities are well in practice and JNU library maintains all the necessary subscriptions for the benefit of its academic fraternity. To the credit of present VC, in order to recognise true national leaders of this country our Central Library has been renamed as Dr. B. R. Ambedkar library to mark his birth anniversary and Nirvana Divas under the present administration.
-The JNU library has been organising series of workshops and lectures to the empowerment of student community, and recently organised a seven day-long specific workshop for the disabled students to equip them with the new tools of education, training, and research. This goes with our commitment to make this campus disabled friendly under the present administration.
While the early JNU administration was preoccupied with only one school of thought, the present VC has made every effort to turn this campus into a more visible expression of our history and heritage. As JNU stands at the epitome of knowledge and research in this country attracting best of the global minds to the campus, the present administration is well within its duty to celebrate our great leaders and their contribution for the nation.
Similarly, the construction of Vivekananda statues in the campus is largely funded by the alumnus of JNU, and is well in recognition to the values and principles of this legend, aiming to disseminate the same for our present generation.
Moreover, the present administration under the Vice-Chancellor has allowed “fair roster implementation and reservation policy”, and this administration has acted promptly to allow the filing of backlog vacancies for the first time in JNU under the current Vice-Chancellor. On the subject of hostel allocation during the admission process in early July, the online system has allowed that students get Hostel at the time of admission under the present administration.
The compulsory class attendance system started by the present administration has ensured that classes remain ‘well attended and engaged’ making the most productive use of campus stay for the students and researchers. On the issue of recruitment and promotion, many teachers from ‘marginalised community’ have been duly promoted and have been assigned on senior administrative positions under the present administration noting its commitment to the values of social justice and equality. The opening of new centre’s and research grants, along with cooperation with a new set of non-state actors is being allowed to the ‘professional and career benefit’ of the student community of JNU under the present administration.
Given the above list of facts which prove the ‘positive contribution’ of the present JNU administration led by its Vice-Chancellor, we must stand united to condemn the ‘false and malicious allegations’ of the JNUSU against the present Vice-Chancellor Prof. M. Jagadeesh Kumar, and must fully stand with him in his efforts to make the JNU campus more student and research-friendly based on adherence to University rules and regulations.
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